Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Global Issues Mount In Ireland; Disappointing Earnings Add To Fears Of A Recession; Western Allies Work To Keep Russia In Check; Micheal Martin Says Northern Ireland Protocol Dispute "Can Be Resolved"; Call To Earth: Mangroves. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 19, 2022 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR: Eight o'clock in the evening in Dublin, in the Irish capital. On the stock market? Well, it's all over the
place. Having had a dreadful session in the previous day, now just trying to have a bit of a rally.
Volatility is the name of the game. You can see from the red on the screen, but you're now just around about the zero mark. It tells the tone of the
day and how things have been moving.
The markets and the main events of the day: Anxiety over inflation, it's continuing to drive the S&P ever closer to a bear market.
On tonight's program, the Prime Minister, the Taoiseach will be with us. He'll tell us that Europe will overcome differences on Russian energy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHEAL MARTIN, IRISH TAOISEACH: Yes, there are challenges in respect of oil and gas, but we will get there and we will get an agreement on this,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And Ireland welcomes nearly 30,000 Ukrainian refugees. The Ambassador from Ukraine is with me live tonight on the program.
We are live from Dublin. It is Thursday. It's May the 19th. I'm Richard Quest, and in Dublin, I mean business.
Good evening tonight from Dublin. We are here taking the economic temperature and it is the perfect place to be at the moment. Ireland is at
the intersection in so many ways of global issues that we'll be talking about on tonight's program.
First of all, the E.U. standoff with Russia and the question over oil and the further sanctions you'll hear from the Taoiseach on how he believes
there will be an agreement, an energy crisis and the recession, that's possible. Inflation -- inflation in Ireland is over seven percent. It's one
of those countries feeling the effect and looking ahead to a possible recession.
And on Ukraine, a small country proportionately has taken in the largest number of refugees, nearly 30,000. Also, if you look at the economy,
Ireland again, a perfect place for us to be when we're talking about a slowdown in tech and growth stocks.
Ireland is home to the tech giants in Silicon Docks, which by the way, is exactly where I am at the moment. All of these companies that you see
around me just on the outskirts of downtown Dublin, they are all owned by the largest tech companies, an ecosystem has been created here.
But we must start with the markets after the horrible, horrendous, choose your own adjective that we saw yesterday with the S&P now heading rapidly
towards a bear market. The Dow is trying to turn positive. In fact, it looks like we might just have done so a smidgen or two. The triple stack
shows a bigger picture of what's happening at the moment.
We've got the S&P dangerously close now to a bear market. It's going to hit at -- the bear market will hit at 3,854. Well, as you can see, so we're
about a hundred or so off bear market for the S&P.
The NASDAQ we know is well and truly in a bear market. It's off no more than 26 percent.
So, Rana is with me. Rana Foroohar in New York.
There is a realism -- you and I have talked about this several times. There is a realism that markets are going to fall until inflation is under
control and the Fed feels its work is done.
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: I think that that's absolutely true. And you know, you're seeing not only Jay Powell, but Biden say we're
going to kind of throw everything, but the kitchen sink at this. So I really feel Richard, that we are in a Volcker moment here.
You know, we have all the policymakers saying inflation is the most important thing. Rates are going to go up until it is under control. Of
course, stocks hate it, but we knew we'd be here.
QUEST: So what turns the tide? Do we just have to wait until inflation is tamed? Because the size and scope of the losses is so tremendous from
companies -- all right, even if they were overvalued, Rana, these companies are still doing business and making money.
FOROOHAR: Well, absolutely. But you know, Richard, we talk about this, too. Wall Street doesn't always reflect Main Street reality. You know, that
was true in the good times and it is going to be true in the bad times as well. Although, you know, there have been some worrisome signs from
companies like Walmart, Target, Cisco, you know, really big, important companies that are saying, "Aha, things are not so good."
But you asked an important question, how long does it take to hit the bottom? It depends on where you think the bottom is. Do you think inflation
is really about the last few years of supply chain issues, COVID disconnections fiscal policy, or do you think it is about 15 years of
quantitative easing that's ending? Or do you think it's about four decades of easy money and low interest rates and stretched out business cycle?
Very different answers as to where we may end up depending on what your thesis is about inflation.
QUEST: Rana -- Rana Foroohar in New York. Thank you, Rana.
Now, the European markets, bearing in mind Europe had traded largely on the back of what it had seen the previous session. And so not surprising it was
a truly awful day, too.
The footsie was down nearly two percent. Frankfurt, Paris were also lower, and the Irish Stock Exchange was down 1.8 percent as you can see that. It
is also having a pretty grim day.
Marc Hussey is with me. The head of JPMorgan's Irish Operations, which if I'm not mistaken, sir, is just sort of almost next door to us.
MARC HUSSEY, HEAD OF JPMORGAN'S IRISH OPERATIONS: Yes, we are a five- minute walk away, Richard.
QUEST: Good to see you.
HUSSEY: Very good to meet you. Thank you.
QUEST: The Irish economy has done so well, and now we're in this terrible morass, a mess. How does this -- what's your view on where we go?
HUSSEY: So from an Irish perspective, actually, we remain reasonably constructive. We think GDP this year in Ireland will average about five and
a half percent, maybe a tad less. And that's also for 13.5 percent growth last year. So the momentum is there.
Clearly, there are headwinds. You talked about inflation at seven percent. That was a 40-year high for the inflation in Ireland a few weeks ago, and
we think inflation remains high. But actually, we don't think that undercuts the fundamental growth story in Ireland.
QUEST: How do you withstand the slowdown? Because, you know, JPM is also forecasting slow down. It's a moot point whether there's a recession in
Europe, in the Eurozone. There is going to be a slowdown, and it's going to be a sizable one.
HUSSEY: Yes. I know, for sure. I think Ireland is well-positioned to withstand that. So if you look at sort of in the construction sector and so
forth, there will be bottlenecks, supply chain disruption out of Asia will have an impact. But we think that the multinationals that are present here
will actually get through this relatively unscathed.
We look at our own business in financial services. You know, we're seeing growth, not contraction. You know, we think the pharmaceutical sector, the
tech sector, that really are the engines of drivers of the Irish economy will continue to do well this year. Right?
So there are risks, there is downside, but it's not catastrophic in Ireland.
QUEST: What are you telling your clients, your investors -- so your clients? What are you telling them when they're ringing up and saying,
"Marc, what do I do? What do I do? I'm worried. What do I do? I'm seeing markets falling, my wealth effect is gone. What do I do?"
HUSSEY: So for our corporate clients who are looking to sort of execute on their funding plans this year, we're telling them be ready. You've got to
be very opportunistic.
Earlier this week, for example, in the bond market in Europe, we saw -- well, actually a few days later, so we're telling clients be ready. Be
opportunistic. Go quickly when the market is there.
QUEST: Because what we're seeing and it's almost I won't say unique, it's happened before, but you've got bonds and equities falling at the same
HUSSEY: Correlation is one. Yes, everything together.
QUEST: And when you've got that, there is nowhere for safety.
HUSSEY: No, there isn't, but it is -- look, we also have seen over the last couple of months, windows open and close. So we're in a bad window
right now for sure.
QUEST: But when you say window open, what window would you expect to open?
HUSSEY: So for our corporate clients to be able to for example, to access the bond market to fund their capital requirements for this year, and our
clients in the equity markets as well. So we are seeing windows open and close. You just have to be very opportunistic around it.
QUEST: And you know, slightly different, but for the private investor, for some of the ordinary man and woman on the street, so to speak. What do you
do other than wait?
HUSSEY: I think you just be patient, right? We'll get through this, right? I mean, I think you need to step back if we see inflation globally
stabilized, you know I think you can see a recovery in markets fairly quickly.
And fundamentally, JPMorgan, you know has a constructive outlook on equity markets.
QUEST: Finally, let's talk about this sort of extraordinary economy. I'm looking over there, and I can see one, two, three, four, five, six, seven,
eight, nine -- ten cranes -- building cranes. This is just a heaving mass of what technology and tech companies in this area known as Silicon Docks,
can this continue?
HUSSEY: We think so. I mean, if I look at our own business at JPMorgan here in Ireland, you know, we've added -- we've grown our headcount by 60
percent in the last three years. So we now have from a standing start of zero in 1990, we now have 850 people here in Dublin. And we're not unique
in that sense, right?
If you look at financial services in Ireland, you have $5 trillion of assets now under custody in this country for asset managers around the
world. So we think the environment here remains very constructive.
QUEST: It's good to see you, sir.
HUSSEY: Richard, a pleasure.
QUEST: Thank you very much for coming in this evening. Thank you.
Marc Hussey of JPMorgan joining me.
We're talking there about the big companies that are here. They are all around me. But those same big companies, tech companies are now very firmly
-- or most of them -- well, many, the big names are in a bear market.
Let's look at Apple, Meta, TikTok, Alphabet, Microsoft -- TikTok is not publicly traded, but they all call Ireland home in some shape or form. An
entire eco-structure has now been created around building tech in Ireland.
It wasn't always this way.
QUEST (voice over): The writer, John McGahern once said Ireland bypassed the 20th Century. Walking the streets of Dublin, it's easy to see how.
For much of its hundred- year history, the Irish Republic has been considered the Poor Man of Western Europe, famous primarily rolling green
fields and exports like agricultural, whiskey, Guinness.
As recently as the 1990s, Ireland's per capita GDP is amongst the lowest in the region.
QUEST (on camera): Until the 1990s, Ireland was very much, the all-so-ran, the laggard, if you will, and then they discovered a pot of gold at the end
of the rainbow.
Technology, new economy, and very quickly that Celtic Tiger was born.
QUEST (voice over): It catapulted Ireland from one of the poorest to one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. Successive governments helped major
U.S. companies avoid billions in taxes by funneling their profits through Ireland.
The deal was simple. U.S. corporations would bring jobs and investment. In exchange, Ireland offered one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the
world, and often enabled companies to avoid paying tax altogether.
Last year, that all changed when Ireland became one of the last to sign on to the OECD, universal minimum corporate tax rate.
QUEST (on camera): Dublin's River Liffey is both a nod to the past and a great big sign of the future. All the Big Tech companies around here you've
got Alphabet, Google, Meta, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and the like.
They may have been attracted here by tax breaks, but the reason people come today is because an entire ecosystem has been built up. There is a talent
pool in tech that makes Dublin extremely desirable.
QUEST (voice over): The 21st Century has brought prosperity to Ireland and new challenges. The Celtic Tiger boom came to a crashing halt by the 2008
great financial crisis.
Irish lenders were forced to seek billions in bailouts. Just as those debts were repaid, the Brexit vote threatened Ireland's economy all over again,
not only by disrupting trade with its biggest economic partner, but by threatening the fragile peace between North and South.
QUEST (on camera): Whatever Ireland's economic success, the real country export is the culture worldwide, whether it's the beers or the whiskies or
the great literary giants, such as James Joyce, or Oscar Wilde. The truth is, Ireland may have gone from economic boom to bust, but the bedrock that
remains is the Irish heritage and that's known around the world.
QUEST: As we continue tonight, lovely evening by the way. It is not too warm, but the rain has stopped and the weather is best known as a fierce
breeze coming in from over there.
But anyway, we'll talk about all of that later.
After the break, it is all about pragmatism. Pragmatic politics, whether it comes to Finland and Turkey in relation to NATO membership or Hungary and
stopping Russian oil.
You'll hear from Ireland's Prime Minister, the Taoiseach who says, on the moment that Hungary stopped them doing what needs to be done.
It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in Dublin.
QUEST: So to Finland and Sweden's efforts to join NATO and now Finland says it will address Turkey's concerns over its NATO bid according to a
There are were meetings that -- Finland, Sweden, and President Biden were meeting in Washington. Finland says it will go through the demands and it
will provide answers.
Turkey's President of course, President Erdogan has said he will stop the bid over PKK issues concerning the two countries. But Turkey says, it has
reservations over the bid. President Biden says he does not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have the full total complete backing of the United States of America.
So let me be clear, new members joining NATO is not a threat to any nation -- it never has been.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Ireland is not a NATO member and the government says it has no intention of attempting to become one regardless. But the Irish Prime
Minister says that the country is committed to enforcing all the sanctions and that includes that of oil and gas.
The E.U. is pushing, of course, for sanctions against Russia and oil. Hungary is standing in the way. The Irish Prime Minister, the Taoiseach,
Micheal Martin told me that whatever happens, there will remain unanimous, and they will deal with Hungary's concerns, but they won't let Hungary get
in the way.
MARTIN: The initial round of sanctions, people were struck by unanimity at the E.U. Council meetings. Yes, there are challenges in respect of oil and
gas, but I think we will get there and we will get an agreement on this, ultimately.
It's understandable, too, that there would be challenges in oil and gas given the very significant dependency of some countries within the European
Union on Russian oil and gas.
MARTIN: That's a natural thing to experience.
QUEST: But Viktor Orban is holding you all hostage.
MARTIN: Europe is 27 member States. It works towards consensus. It works hard at it. This will be the sixth round of sanctions.
We've managed unity now in five rounds of sanctions and a whole lot of other initiatives around keeping pressure on Putin's regime. And in
particular, the more significant takeaway from all of this will be a doubling down on renewables, and a fundamental reduction of the dependency
on Russian gas and oil over time. I think this would be a fundamental watershed in terms of the energy question, and not immediately, but
certainly over the medium term.
QUEST: Are you ready? And the Irish people ready for this to become prolonged?
MARTIN: That's the sense that we have of it right now, but one never knows what we are. We are looking at this from all perspectives. We have a very
significant humanitarian response, over 30,000 people of Ukrainians have now arrived into Ireland, in a very, very short space of time. We have a
population of about five million people, and so, the Irish people have responded very well to people fleeing from war, had been very taken by the
barbarity of this war, how ruthless it is, the leveling of towns.
Many mothers and children have come to Ireland, and we talk to them and hear it firsthand, the terrible cruelties and the degree to which their
lives, their certainties have been turned on end.
QUEST: That's the Taoiseach, Micheal Martin, and you'll hear more from him later in the program.
Ireland has taken per capita, nearly more refugees than any other country in Europe. So far, 30,000, and the government says it could if necessary,
take up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and are resettling them all over the country, in many cases in rural communities.
It is making a difficult housing situation arguably worse, but the country is dedicated to continuing it.
Donie O'Sullivan now reports on how Ireland, a small island, is being very big when it comes to refugees from Ukraine.
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This 15th Century Castle on Ireland's West Coast is about as far from Ukraine as you can get in
Europe, but for a group of Ukrainian families fleeing the war, it's now home.
MARIA NAZARCHUCK, FLED FROM UKRAINE: Yes, it is very amazing in the Castle. I never dreamed about whether I can live in Castle in the future,
but I live in this with my two boys, with my family.
O'SULLIVAN: The Great Hall.
BARRY HAUGHIAN, CASTLE OWNER: The Great Hall. This is where we have our celebrations and big dinners.
O'SULLIVAN (voice over): The owner, Barry Haughian, didn't have to think long about traveling to Poland to offer up his castle to refugees.
HAUGHIAN: We decided that we had to do something. We know we are planning -- and we were really nervous and I think, you know okay, how do we do
this? It's pretty simple. You get your credit card out, you book a flight and your flight home.
O'SULLIVAN: Per capita, the country of five million people has taken in more Ukrainian refugees than many of its neighbors in Western Europe. The
government says more than 29,000 have arrived so far.
Meanwhile, Ireland's closest neighbor, the United Kingdom has had over 46,000 refugees arrive despite having a population more than 13 times the
But not all refugees in Ireland have received the royal treatment. The government has warned that resources are stretched.
RODERIC O'GORMAN, IRISH MINISTER OF CHILDREN, EQUALITY, DISABILITY, INTEGRATION AND YOUTH: Look, it's not all ideal. It's not all the kind of
the gold standard accommodation that we'd like, but you know, this is a crisis situation.
Most people are in hotels, some people are in more basic accommodation. And yes, it is getting more difficult, particularly as it is clear now that
this war isn't going to end anytime soon.
O'SULLIVAN: Authorities have set up emergency camp beds in an arena in Cork. They also plan to repurpose student holds, holiday homes, and former
Campaigners have praised Ireland's initial response, but say the government needs better long term plans in place.
NICK HENDERSON, CEO, IRISH REFUGEE COUNCIL: That we've been able to accommodate people with such short notice is, if you'd asked me that,
before the war, I would have said it was impossible.
Now, we need to be thinking of what our long term plan is for this. There is also this concern that well, why aren't we able to do all the things
that we've done for Ukrainian refugees and apply that to all people seeking asylum in Ireland?
O'SULLIVAN (voice over): Former asylum seeker, Lucky Khambule, originally from South Africa shared a room in a government run facility for years,
living in limbo until his papers were processed. He now campaigns for better conditions for all asylum seekers.
LUCKY KHAMBULE, COFOUNDER, MOVEMENT OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN IRELAND: It showed that all along, we were right to say that the government is capable
of treating us better.
O'SULLIVAN (voice over): Unlike other asylum seekers, Ukrainian refugees were immediately granted the right to work and receive welfare payments in
Ireland. A lack of red tape also enabled thousands of Ukrainian children to be enrolled quickly in Irish schools.
HAUGHIAN: They had everything sorted for these guys inside two hours. It was real -- the way I am describing it can't be faulted -- it was quite
incredible. It makes you really proud to be Irish.
O'SULLIVAN (voice over) Donie O'Sullivan, CNN, Galway, Ireland.
QUEST: Now, with me is Ukraine's Ambassador to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko.
Madam Ambassador, good to see you, ma'am. Thank you for coming in.
LARYSA GERASKO, UKRAINE'S AMBASSADOR TO IRELAND: Thank you.
QUEST: It is a windy night tonight, but thank you. Grateful for you being with us.
Ireland has done extraordinary amounts, hasn't it? In terms of the assistance it's giving to refugees that we've just seen there.
GERASKO: Yes, of course, as you said, 30,000 Ukrainians have already arrived in Ireland, and most of them women and children, actually. But
Ireland, we are grateful to Ireland for providing such a great assistance and support and solidarity and to the people of Ireland, of course, for
standing with us, shoulder to shoulder.
QUEST: How many -- do you get -- is it too soon to get an indication of how many you might expect to permanently settle here? I mean, obviously,
the goal is people want to go back to their homes, obviously. But what's the feeling?
GERASKO: You know, I have many meetings -- had many meetings with our Ukrainians new arrivals, and most of them, they say that they want to go
home and I will say some of them have returned to Ukraine already. We hope that most of our Ukrainian-displaced people, they will return to Ukraine
after the war.
QUEST: And in terms of your communications with Kyiv, you're obviously in regular contact, what is it now that you are being told is needed?
GERASKO: Of course, there are no signs that Russia has intention to end the war. And the war is continuing, is going, and of course, we need more
assistance, more support, more humanitarian aid, more stronger and tough sanctions against Russia.
QUEST: So when you hear, for example, that Hungary will not allow so far the oil sanctions to go through. What do you think? You know, the arguments
GERASKO: You know, we paid -- Ukraine pays very high price. It is human lives. And we are defending not only our country, we are defending not only
our existence -- statehood, we are fighting for whole Europe. And it's not only war against Ukraine, its struggle of democratic values against
So, you know, all countries have to impact into the peaceful resolution.
QUEST: Ambassador, thank you.
GERASKO: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you for joining us. Thank you very much, indeed. Thank you.
In case you're wondering where I am tonight. I am on the roof of the Marker Hotel, which is the Silicon Docks and gives a, as I say, a very good view
on a Friday -- Thursday -- it is still Thursday. I am getting ahead of myself already looking forward to the weekend.
When we come back after the break, the Taoiseach tells me that Brexit created instability. A situation arguably made worse by the latest moves of
the British government.
Now says the Taoiseach, it is unity not unilateralism that's needed on the Island of Ireland, in a moment.
QUEST: Welcome back. It is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS tonight coming from Ireland. We're in Dublin tonight.
The E.U. has rejected the U.K. demand to rewrite the Northern Ireland Protocol, which you will recall basically keeps Northern Ireland, the
northern part of the island, in line with E.U. laws and regulations, which some say creates a border down the Irish Sea.
The E.U. ambassador, having heard what the British government proposed to legislate, says the E.U. is now threatening to retaliate. The Irish prime
minister, the taoiseach, as he is known, is very much concerned about unity within the E.U. And he is chiding the British against its policy of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN: We do not need this instability. We need the United Kingdom and the government of the European Union working constructively together, because
there are bigger geopolitical issues.
There is no need for this, in my view. This can be resolved. There is a landing zone here to resolution, pragmatic, common sense approach. But it
does need the proper negotiation framework.
QUEST: I know you spoke to Boris Johnson, the British prime minister.
Are you pissed off at him or just frustrated?
MARTIN: Well, I mean, we would never use that language in terms of personal engagements and so on. But I made it very clear that, on-and-off
unilateralism does not work. I'm concerned that we are looking at an increasing change from the British, from this British government, of more
unilateralism and different aspects that impact on the Good Friday Agreement.
And that's not positive. And I would like the British government to be very conscious of the necessity of a partnership approach of Britain and Ireland
being co-guarantors of the agreement. That is why I find it unconscionable at the moment that the assembly is prevented from meeting.
But if the DUP will not take their seats or will not engage until the protocol is repaired, in their view, the British prime minister, what is he
MARTIN: I think when people vote, in the democratic world, most people expect after an election that a parliament would be convened. The idea
that our Parliament has been prevented, in this case, the Northern Ireland assembly, from convening is a denial of democracy, unacceptable.
In terms of the protocol, Brexit created instability and challenges for the Good Friday Agreement. We acknowledge that. The protocol was a way and a
mechanism, agreed by Britain and Europe, to reflect the uniqueness of Northern Ireland in that overall Brexit context.
The operation of this can be made to work, is our view. And indeed, for the British government, the people of Northern Ireland and the European Union.
But there has to be a serious engagement to make it happen.
QUEST: I want to finish talking about the domestic economy. I've gone around in my visit since I have been here.
"What should I ask the taoiseach?"
"If you are sitting opposite him, what would you ask him?"
And they all say, "Housing.
"When is going to build more houses?
"He said he would build houses. He hasn't built any houses."
MARTIN: Oh, we have built a lot of houses. We are going to build more. COVID-19 has close this government office for two years. COVID-19, with two
lockdowns in the last two years, which have hit construction.
But this year, last March to this March, we will have had the highest number of commencements, at 35,000 houses, since 2008. But we need to build
QUEST: Is that the answer?
MARTIN: No question, supply, supply, supply. Previous decade, we did not build enough houses.
QUEST: In previous decades we built too many.
MARTIN: Well, that was the argument at the time. But I can tell you now, we don't have enough houses built at the moment. And we need to build far
more houses -- of all types. And I'm not into ideological arguments about whether it all has to be on public land or -- I'm not against the private
sector building houses.
We need the private sector, we need more social housing, which we're doing. And we need more affordable housing for the younger generations (INAUDIBLE)
afford to buy (INAUDIBLE).
But it's going to take time.
QUEST: This is fascinating. As you know, Sinn Fein, in domestic Irish politics and (INAUDIBLE) in the north, in the south.
Were you surprised that they are the -- that they are creeping up to be the largest?
MARTIN: Well, they are not the largest.
QUEST: Well, they're creeping up to be a large force.
MARTIN: Well, yes, but they are the main opposition party at the moment in terms of numbers (INAUDIBLE). But policies is what's governs who goes into
The Sinn Fein policies at the moment, anti West, anti European Union, anti enterprise, the type of enterprise economy that we have in Ireland, which
is creating record levels of foreign direct investment, that is where I have my biggest concern with Sinn Fein.
And also I think Sinn Fein do have to deal with its past in terms of the horrific atrocities the (INAUDIBLE) committed. It needs to apologize for
those and say they should not have happened.
QUEST: I guess what I'm saying to you at the end of day is, can you see a day when you or your successor is going to have a very hard decision on
whether to go into coalition with them?
MARTIN: I just had a hard decision to go into coalition two years ago. So I have no doubt that people into the future will face those decisions as
well. That is a natural evolution of politics.
What we have the moment is a very fragmented electoral system in Ireland. So there will be lots of options in terms of who gets to form a government
with whom into the future. But as I said in a previous election in 2016, when people thought we had the chance, we don't do coronations in
QUEST: That is the taoiseach, Micheal Martin, talking to me.
Now the Irish economy, as we've already seen earlier in the program, is heavily based on the digital economy. Roughly 13 percent of GDP, in some
shape or form, is connected to technology and the digital economy, which all sounds very exciting.
But I get far more excited at the prospect of a good breakfast. And in Ireland, a full Irish breakfast.
So what happens when you talk tax and you have a full Irish breakfast and you put the two together?
You get an explanation of Ireland, technology and taxation.
QUEST: Ireland may not have invented tax avoidance schemes. But in the 1980s and '90s, they took them to new levels, attracting major companies
like Intel, Apple, Alphabet, which is Google's owner, and Pfizer, all came here to take advantage of a tax environment that was very advantageous.
Think of it like a full Irish breakfast. There you have all the components, the various bits got to be moved around to different tax jurisdictions.
Charged here, offered there, sold in another place. And then finally brought together through a tax haven and made as an Irish breakfast.
What is the effect of all of this?
The effect is, for the companies involved, it truly is cream the top. And it rests there as profits for shareholders to enjoy.
By the time the OECD and the G7 all decided to eliminate such schemes, it didn't matter. Ireland had already cleaned up.
QUEST: So the universal tax rate for corporations introduced by the OECD is unlikely to make much of a difference here, because the companies are
already located and more are arriving.
I discussed that and the situation with the CEO of Deloitte, who joined me not for breakfast. But we went to his office instead to find out about
taxation and the economy.
HARRY GODDARD, CEO, DELOITTE IRELAND: What has happened as a result of the policies that started with us using taxes (INAUDIBLE) is that they have
paid off. We are now a talent based economy.
This is -- has come to us because of the access they can get to the talent marketplace that we have here in Ireland as a combination of. Things It's
the young population, it's the high-level education and across that population but also it's the ease with which people come into the country
and support those organizations.
QUEST: When Brexit happened, the relationship between the U.K. and Ireland, which was complex to begin with, became even more complicated
because of Northern Ireland, but your relationship with the E.U., of course, remained the same.
So what was the principal effect of it?
GODDARD: Two things. First of, all we had significant businesses in Ireland, whose principal customer base was the U.K. marketplace. And
because of the changes that were going to come and have come in the trade relationship, the need for checks on goods and products and services, and
particularly going into the U.K. from Europe, that meant Irish businesses had to pivot.
It also had a real impact on the Northern Ireland's economy. The Northern Ireland economy had a real opportunity because of course it found itself in
this unique position where it had open trade for goods into the U.K. and was able to trade with the E.U.
An opportunity still perhaps to be taken advantage of if we are able to get through the current impasse. But had a real dramatic impact on the
distribution capability for those businesses (INAUDIBLE) markets.
One of the critical issues was not just that the U.K. was our major trading partner but it was also our -- a land bridge into the continent Europe,
which, of course, it no longer can be.
QUEST: Do you fear that the -- because of what the British government is about to do or talking about, doing or considering doing, vis-a-vis the
north, that the whole thing could get a lot more complicated again?
GODDARD: I think our clients are telling us that they fear continued uncertainty. So I think they can see it on the ground, the lack of action,
the lack of progress.
And if you look at the recent round of elections, 70 percent of those elected reflect a population that would have been anti Brexit and actually
have come toward the Northern Ireland protocol.
So I think the dynamic on the ground and how people are doing business and what is being played out at a political level is not very well connected.
As a result of which I think businesses on the ground really are quite concerned with the future.
QUEST: In the heart of business, I seem to be where?
GODDARD: So we are in Ivy Gardens. Ivy Garden is at the back of Ivy House and it used to be the back garden to the Guinness family's home here in
QUEST: How often do you actually say to a colleague or to a client, (INAUDIBLE), nice day, let's go have a cup of coffee over the road?
GODDARD: I would say, if I don't get in here once a week, it is a bad week.
QUEST: Are you serious?
GODDARD: Honestly. We have come 10 yards to get into this garden.
QUEST: How as a boss has your mentality changed as a result of the pandemic?
GODDARD: You have to take time with people. I think the thing that we did during the pandemic, is we got very effective in working at home. We got
incredibly efficient. And we lost some of the soft touch. We lost taking our time in just having a conversation, seeing our people where, having a
facility like this, where you can go for a walk with a colleague and just ask them how they are doing.
QUEST: Political changes everywhere. Look at the north, where Sinn Fein is now the largest party. They are having to sort of the issues there. But
here in the south, Sinn Fein is also the prospect of being one of the largest, if not the largest party for the next election.
So does that worry business here?
It's highly Socialist, Sinn Fein.
GODDARD: I think the thing that worries businesses most first is their lack of experience in government. So we have a new party that likely or
quite possibly is going to be one of the largest parties in power, that has not served government before.
But I think their transition over the next number of years, their preparation for government, is extraordinarily important. and their
experience in the north is very relevant to that.
Clearly businesses want to maintain the status quo. How Sinn Fein will develop their economic policy is to be seen. And for sure, I don't think --
I would certainly not try to protect that. One thing Sinn Fein are is pragmatists. And I'm sure they will be pragmatic in ensuring support to the
QUEST: What is the one thing that worries you now?
I mean, the markets are dreadful. We have got problems, of course, with Ukraine; immigration, issues like that. The E.U. is functioning but there
are definitely budgetary issues there.
So what is the thing that you are telling your clients, watch out?
GODDARD: I think you hit the nail on the. Head stagflation is a thing that we most want to avoid. Whether it is inflation or deflation or a recession,
at least there is momentum and markets can take actions and inventions (ph) to avoid that. That stagflation is extraordinarily difficult for us to
But there are opportunities in the Irish market and I think coming back to the fact that as a country, we have a young dynamic workforce. We are of
the circumcised. We can do things pretty quickly.
And I think the opportunity for us around putting energy and ongoing investments into technology, I think really positions as well for the
QUEST: The CEO of Deloitte.
Governments and companies don't always agree. Now when it comes to Ireland, this is the national symbol. This is the national drink, arguably.
So what has this harp got to do with this drink, besides being there?
All will be revealed.
QUEST: "Call to Earth" tonight, Kehkashan Basu founded an environmental organization when she was 12 years old. Now today, on "Call to Earth," she
is teaching the next generation about protecting the planet.
KEHKASHAN BASU, FOUNDER, GREEN HOPE FOUNDATION (voice-over): So guys, we will be kayaking into the mangroves, we get into the kayaks, we will find
all of the trash that is in there. You have your bags to collect it, clean it up. We bring the trash back with us to shore.
My name is Kehkashan Basu. I'm a United Nations human rights champion and the founder and president of global social innovation enterprise Green Hope
I founded Green Hope Foundation when I was 12 years old in 2012 to address the severe lack of inclusivity of children, young people, women, vulnerable
communities in the sustainable development process.
We address all people (INAUDIBLE) sustainable (INAUDIBLE) that's the economy society in the environment and we believe that children can be
involved in all three.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With volunteers as young as 5 years old, the Green Hope Foundation is cleaning up garbage
found in Abu Dhabi's eastern mangroves.
BASU (voice-over): (INAUDIBLE), this is bad.
Mangroves are absolutely crucial for the planetary systems. They are home to so much biodiversity because the mangrove's roots are above ground. A
lot of the trash gets stuck in that and they stay on for a really long time. And as (INAUDIBLE) mangroves.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is one there.
BASU (voice-over): These species that are not really known about by people are getting destroyed. And no one is really doing anything about it.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Kehkashan Basu is trying to change that, with a team of young and passionate volunteers.
BASU (voice-over): I think the biggest misconception that people have about getting children involved in taking action for sustainability is that
children are not capable of making a difference, that children are too young.
I always say that age has nothing to do with capability. So I've been able to prove them wrong time and time again with my work.
GIOKOS (voice-over): And, with sustainability initiatives in more than 25 countries, the work she is doing is creating impact around the world.
BASU (voice-over): At Green Hope Foundation, we've been able to directly impact over 225,000 people all across the world. It's children and young
people, women in vulnerable communities, rural areas, urban areas.
GIOKOS (voice-over): While the organization has grown over the years, what sparked Basu's initial passion was a simple task that she set out to
complete at a very young age.
BASU (voice-over): My first action that I took to make the world a better place was to plant my first tree.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Basu was only 8 years old when she planted the tree. Located in Dubai, it has grown significantly and she says it is a reminder
that you are never too young to make a difference.
BASU (voice-over): It really symbolized the beginning of my journey to become a global changemaker.
GIOKOS (voice-over): Now at 21 years old, Basu's journey as a global changemaker is even more prevalent and she's bringing a team of like-minded
individuals along with her.
BASU (voice-over): When we work with children, we really allow them to hone that changemaking potential that's really in everyone. If they grow up
with love in their hearts for people on the planet, then they also grow up to be adults who are empathetic and who want to take care of people and the
I really feel that this is our way of proving to the world that children and young people have the power to change the world.
QUEST: "Call to Earth," what are you doing?
Let me know, #CalltoEarth.
QUEST: Now, wherever you go in Ireland, you'll see the national symbol, which is a harp. But look at the shape of this harp. And, then this is a
pint of Guinness. And look at the shape of where that pint of Guinness is.
I hear you say, hang on, Richard, there is a difference. I will explain why.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice-over): I am not one to harp on about conflict. But in Ireland, a dispute over this musical instrument goes back hundreds of
years, the Brian Boru Harp.
It is the famous Brian Boru Harp. It dates back to the 14th century. It serves as the inspiration for two beloved symbols of Ireland, the state
emblem and the Guinness livery.
Guinness claims they got to the trademark office first, registering the harp in 1876, a move which forced the Irish government to turn its official
harp the other way 'round. And the state was established half a century later.
The current taoiseach, not surprisingly, a master of political spin.
QUEST: I heard that Guinness trademarked the harp in a particular orientation. And now even the government has to have it the other way
'round, because Guinness has the trademark?
MICHEAL MARTIN, IRISH TAOISEACH: No, my understanding is it is the opposite way around. The government has the trademark and Guinness has to
do it the other way. But it is a very good pint and it tastes very well but if you really want an alternative, come to my city of Cork and have a pint
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, there you go, a pint of Murphy's or a Guinness in -- a pint of Murphy's in Cork or a pint of Guinness in Dublin. I will leave you to
make that decision for yourself.
We've got a very different "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: I am here in Dublin for "QUEST'S WORLD OF WONDER," that you'll see later in the summer. One of the things I've been doing is with a medieval
armor brigade, a perfect place for a "Profitable Moment."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice-over): Watching the medieval armor combat Ireland do battle, I can learn a thing or two about investing. Tonight's "Profitable Moment"
Well, I've got all the armor and all the protection. To a certain extent, I can take the blows wherever they may fall. But the key here is to stay
And as we watch the financial world get torn to shreds, get hit from left and right and back to the center, the smart investor knows that, with the
right armor and the right swords and axes, with the right weapons at your disposal, you will remain standing.
And at the end of the day, that's what this is all about at the moment. The blows may be brutal but, ultimately, you want to fight another day.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for this Thursday night. I am Richard Quest in Dublin. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's